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StanChart in Talks to Buy Morgan Stanley India Wealth Unit—Sources

Standard Chartered Plc is in talks to buy Morgan Stanley's Indian private wealth management unit, which manages about $1 billion including loans, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.

MUMBAI, Feb 27 Standard Chartered Plc is in talks to buy Morgan Stanley's Indian private wealth management unit, which manages about $1 billion including loans, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.

A couple of Indian financial services companies have also shown interest in buying the wealth management business, and a formal bidding process is expected to start soon, one of the sources told Reuters. The source did not name the companies.

Both the sources declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Asia-focused Standard Chartered, which is also listed in India, and Morgan Stanley declined to comment, when contacted by Reuters.

Morgan Stanley launched the sale of its Indian private wealth management unit in November last year, after entering the highly fragmented and competitive market about four years ago.

The sale of the unit underscores a growing trend of consolidation in Asia's wealth management industry as private banks struggle to earn profits in the face of rising regulatory costs and wafer-thin advisory fees.

Copyright 2010 by Reuters. All rights reserved.

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